Patterico's Pontifications

8/26/2014

IRS Says Lerner Blackberry Wiped Clean After Start of Congressional Probe

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:22 pm

My, this is starting to sound like intentional destruction of evidence, isn’t it?

Lois Lerner’s Blackberry was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun its probe into IRS targeting of conservative groups, a senior IRS lawyer acknowledged in a sworn declaration.

Thomas Kane, Deputy Assistant Chief Counsel for the IRS, wrote in the declaration, part of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the IRS, that the Blackberry was “removed or wiped clean of any sensitive or proprietary information and removed as scrap for disposal in June 2012.”

That date – June 2012 – is significant because by that time, ex-IRS official Lerner had already been summoned before congressional staffers who interviewed her about reports of the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups.

“We had already talked to her. Our personal staff and Oversight Committee staff had sat down with Ms. Lerner and confronted her about information we were getting from conservative groups in the state of Ohio and around the country,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told Fox News.

“If you intentionally destroy evidence, that is a crime. If you make a statement in court saying the evidence is not available and it is, that is also a crime,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice.

So. Her hard drive has already crashed. Congress is starting to look into her activities. Her Blackberry would have emails from her Outlook account — presumably including emails that were missing from the crashed hard drive:

In two elusive and nebulous sworn declarations, we can glean that Ms. Lerner had two Blackberries. One was issued to her on November 12, 2009. According to a sworn declaration, this is the Blackberry that contained all the emails (both sent and received) that would have been in her “Outlook” and drafts that never were sent from her Blackberry during the relevant time.

So they . . . wiped it clean??

Are you kidding me?

They know this looks bad — which means whatever they’re hiding would have been worse.

P.S. Judicial Watch is also making claims that the Administration admitted it can access the emails, but it would be “too onerous.” The Administration denies it said that. I don’t know what to make of that.

I do know what to make of a destroyed Blackberry. My humble suggestion? Convene a grand jury, please.

58 Responses to “IRS Says Lerner Blackberry Wiped Clean After Start of Congressional Probe”

  1. unexpectedly!

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  2. Yes, a grand jury. Please!

    felipe (40f0f0)

  3. what an unbelievably sleazy whore

    the IRS needs to be abolished

    if that means moving to a VAT then so be it

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  4. this lois lerner
    she’s retired but can be reached
    okefenokee

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  5. I wiped a whole box of Blackberrys when I was an intern. Convene a grand jury for Steve Pearce, while you’re at it.

    Leviticus (9f4b19)

  6. was Steve Pearce and his gangsta posse under investigation at the time

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  7. Nah

    Leviticus (9f4b19)

  8. Told you so. Whether or not it looks like intentional destruction of evidence, in this case it is.

    htom (412a17)

  9. I thought you said in another post that a Grand Jury could indict a ham sandwich or something?

    Gil (27c98f)

  10. Is issa involved?

    mg (31009b)

  11. Laughable. Grand jury? Check the registry of names at the DOJ.

    cedarhill (42dcf0)

  12. I think that the House should impeach Holder, he’s already ignored the contempt resolution. Add several criminal references for these crimes to the articles of impeachment.

    SPQR (c4e119)

  13. Grand jury? At this point, someone needs to start building a gallows….

    edoc118 (c37322)

  14. Judicial Watch came back after the claim was made that no backup exists after all.

    They say a recently retired IRS Information Service manager came forth and told them about the backups existence

    This fellow may be available to testify.

    Agesilaus (05c451)

  15. P.S. Judicial Watch is also making claims that the Administration admitted it can access the emails, but it would be “too onerous.” The Administration denies it said that.

    What exactly does it mean that the Administration can access the email? I would think that each agency would have its own IT Director who would report directly to the head of that agency, but is there an overall Director of IT for the federal government who reports to someone in the White House? I am almost willing to give the WH a pass on this if they say, “hey, this sort of thing is handled at an agency level and doesn’t concern us,” but I of course know that it is in the WH’s interest that Ms. Lerner’s emails never see the light of day.

    JVW (638245)

  16. I think that the House should impeach Holder, he’s already ignored the contempt resolution. Add several criminal references for these crimes to the articles of impeachment.

    SPQR, if you were a highly-paid GOP consultant would you suggest that the House begin impeachment proceedings before or after the November election? On the one hand, it could rally conservatives like us who fear that the House will be too timid to hold anyone accountable. On the other hand, impeaching the first black Attorney General who serves the first Halfrican-American President will undoubtedly be a windfall for liberals in terms of fund raising and getting out the vote, so maybe it’s best put off until the next Congress convenes.

    JVW (638245)

  17. Ever since this nonsense started I called BS. There was no way the tale about mailbox limits was the be all and end all of the Fed’s storage capabilities.

    Sammy? Anybody?

    Now the fallback position is, “Yes, we have it, it’s just too hard to find it.” Or in other words they archive this data just in case of catastrophe, but they can’t readily access the data. Thus defeating the purpose of archiving it in the first place.

    Yeah, like the Benghazi story line that won’t last long, either.

    But if you think it will, I have a pair of priceless plastic bathtub ducks that can be yours for the discount price of only a cool quarter mil…

    Ming dynasty, I believe, but I won’t swear to it.

    Steve57 (99bd31)

  18. Elijah Cummings has been extremely frustrated in his inability to get House Committee hearings on these matters derailed and shut down not only because of his own unclean hands, but because he knows the longer they go on the more and worse information will dribble out.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  19. I forgot, Elijah Cummings (D-Obstruction)

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  20. 13. We will eventually get satisfaction but for a myriad of reasons a good segment of Amerikkka will meet an involuntary demise.

    Federal employees will need to switch sides early and emphatically.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  21. Someone in Congress should bring legislation to suspend the President’s authority to issue pardons for the balance of his term in office. Open floor debate and listen to the squeals of outrage as the cockroaches run from the bright glare of sunlight.

    ropelight (1ad39d)

  22. does this sleazy hoochie have a family she’s brought shame and disgrace upon or is she more the crazy cat lady spinster type

    you can’t judge by appearances that heinous ruth bader supreme court hag is actually a mother of two or so kids – I googled it one time

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  23. I think th only goal has been to try to lessen the negative impact on the mid terms for Dems, as bad as they are going to be anyway. They could be a lot worse.

    Gazzer (26a83c)

  24. A grand jury would be useless without special counsel from outside DoJ and the Obama Administration first being named.

    And I’m not holding my breath waiting for Eric Holder to appoint one.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  25. Please. Impeach Holder.

    mojo (4a927a)

  26. Misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance of office. The lot of them.

    htom (412a17)

  27. 21: Constitutionally not possible.

    Ibidem (6d19d0)

  28. really, at this point, what difference does it make?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  29. #27, Ibidem, yeah, maybe, but the debate would certainly be informative, and revealing, and the legislation could take the form of a request from the Congress and the people that Obama voluntarily relinquish the power to pardon as a way to show that he, personally, is willing to subject himself and members of his Administration to the rule of law, and not to rely on special presidential powers to evade responsibility for ongoing illegal conspiracies.

    After all, the power of the pardon exists to correct the errors, excesses, and abuses of the justice system, not to line the pockets of money grubbing opportunists like Bill Clinton, or to evade personal responsibility for subverting the institutions of the federal government to stifle political opposition, or to shield high government officials from the consequences of cynical malfeasance or criminal conduct, or outright treachery. Nor does the Constitution give a free pass to criminal occupants of the Oval Office to buy the silence of co-conspirators with promises of pardons for their crimes.

    ropelight (036f73)

  30. Gangster Government. Weak-suck Liberalism’s finest hour.

    Colonel Haiku (b5bc8f)

  31. I should probably mention I used to work for the feds. DoD. Call me Admiral, daley.

    Not only does this #chitt not happen, everybody knows why.

    There was no way they were going to get away with this.

    Steve57 (99bd31)

  32. Happyfeet?

    Why would a VAT (or a simple national sales tax) not involve a federal agency substantially similar to the IRS?

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  33. If it’s good enough for Venezuela (or Argentina, or Mexico, etc), it’s good enough for us.

    The US proudly joins the list of banana republics of the American continent.

    A shout out to all the voters of the left and the squishes in between.

    Mark (14a4db)

  34. Impeachment is not possible with this administration. Yes, the House could vote to impeach,
    but it is the Senate that requires 67 votes to convict. That is not going to happen.

    Bar Sinister (b48c12)

  35. Addendum to Bar Sinister (34)

    And unlike Nixon, we know that Obama is incapable of feeling shame.

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  36. That date – June 2012

    Is 10 months after the IRS people gave up trying to recover data from Lois Lerner’s crashed hard drive. Lois Lerner had probably been hoping it had already been sent to the hard drive cemetery by July. According to this, that didn’t happen for almost another year.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0d47)

  37. C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801) — 8/27/2014 @ 7:10 am

    Why would a VAT (or a simple national sales tax) not involve a federal agency substantially similar to the IRS?

    They would only bother businesses, not individuals. This could also be limited to goods manufactured in large quantities or sold for over X number of dollars.

    Of course there are people who want to get rid of corporate income tax and only tax
    individuals and treat that like it would be a flaw.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0d47)

  38. Oh, this would a different hard drive than the one that crashed.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0d47)

  39. 17. Steve57 (99bd31) — 8/26/2014 @ 7:21 pm

    Ever since this nonsense started I called BS. There was no way the tale about mailbox limits was the be all and end all of the Fed’s storage capabilities.

    Sammy? Anybody?

    It makes sense if there wasa deliberate attempt not tosave records. Their whole e-mail recordkeeping procedure doesn’t make sense on its own terms. Especially that bot about the small mailbox limit, the decision what to keep being made by the owner of the mailbox, and the recycling of the backup taoes after 6 months, with no tapes being kept ouyt of the rotation (although actually in fact maybe some were)

    Now the fallback position is, “Yes, we have it, it’s just too hard to find it.”

    That was their original position, too. They say how much effort was made to retrieve e-mails.

    I have no idea what kind of backup they are talking about now.

    Or in other words they archive this data just in case of catastrophe, but they can’t readily access the data. Thus defeating the purpose of archiving it in the first place.

    What this would mean is they can restore everything from the back-up but not just a part of it. The only real difficulty in recovering the email would be legal (a lot of it being private and even classified) and the expense.

    Yeah, like the Benghazi story line that won’t last long, either.

    It’s already outlasted it.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0d47)

  40. The only thing is Eric Holder really wants to quit and make money – but he can’t, because of the difficulty a successor would ahve in being confirmed.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0d47)

  41. Re: my comment at #29

    An official request from the House of Representatives, the people’s house, that Obama voluntarily relinquish the power to pardon officials in his own Administration involved in efforts to undermine democratic institutions, or those involved in conspiracies to withhold evidence from Congress or other investigative authorities, or those implicated in obstructing inquires into illegal activities would make one heck of a campaign issue going into the mid-term elections.

    If Obama refuses such a commonsense request, and the GOP maintains its grip on the House whether or not it gains control of the Senate, the next presidential election could turn on the integrity, and on the legitimacy of the Democrat Party to lead the nation.

    ropelight (d6097b)

  42. Sammy Finkelman,

    If you believe that a federal sales tax agency would only bother businesses and not individuals, you are dreaming. State sales tax agencies are trying to regulate garage sales. The rapaciousness of the State means that a national sales tax would mean a federal agency wanting you to have records showing that you still have most of what you buy, or pay a tax on the market value of the item second hand, on the theory that you sold it.

    The problem isn’t what is taxed, or how much is taxed. Those are symptoms. The problem is that we have plowed the State to become so all-fired important that it threatens to take over out whole lives. The problem is that the State wants to do an regulate everything, and needs an infinite supply of cash to do so.

    The State must be return to relative insignificance, before it tramples us all.

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  43. oh.

    I didn’t realize how easy it is to make a VAT onerous to individuals

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  44. Not that a day in court matters anymore but the IRS is effectively pleading nolo contendere.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  45. C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801) — 8/27/2014 @ 10:18 am

    If you believe that a federal sales tax agency would only bother businesses and not individuals, you are dreaming. State sales tax agencies are trying to regulate garage sales.

    Yes, that’s a problem.

    But right now they are, theoretically, subject to an income tax, except that it is assumed most items are sold at a loss.

    But you also mentioned a Value Added Tax, and that proposed more than a sales tax. A Value added tax should not affect garage sales, particularly if as I said @37

    This could also be limited to goods manufactured in large quantities or sold for over X number of dollars.

    This is not actually a tax idea I have. I had an idea but probably the rate would be too high.

    That would be something like Mastercard. A tax on money transfers.

    Simulatenously you’d pull out everything besides $10 bills out of circulation. Lower denominatipons would be coins. If somebody spent more than $1,000 or whatever that also would be a taxable event.

    A problem there is if the rate is too high, also double taxation from people who already paid income tax and spent money out of savings.

    Another idea is an alernative maximum tax/safe harbor, which would have to do with the amount odf savings plus purchase or recent ownership of some big ticket items.

    Each of these things has got some problems.

    The rapaciousness of the State means that a national sales tax would mean a federal agency wanting you to have records showing that you still have most of what you buy, or pay a tax on the market value of the item second hand, on the theory that you sold it.

    Well, if we let them get away with such a thing.

    The best thing is where people can aoid taxes, but it’s just very complicated and many people wouldn’t bother. The money transfer thing – well you could spend cash, but it’s trouble.

    The problem isn’t what is taxed, or how much is taxed. Those are symptoms. The problem is that we have plowed the State to become so all-fired important that it threatens to take over out whole lives. The problem is that the State wants to do an regulate everything, and needs an infinite supply of cash to do so.

    A lot of it comes from the state buying things (like medical services) or running a big quasi-insurance company.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0d47)

  46. happyfeet (8ce051) — 8/27/2014 @ 10:22 am

    I didn’t realize how easy it is to make a VAT onerous to individuals

    A VAT not so much, but a sales tax, definitely, unless it has got plenty of exemptions, like for used goods.

    Also, making it difficult for business is not so good.

    That’s why I like this idea of making it cumbersome to not use cash, and taxing the electronic money transfers. But this only works if the rate is something like 3% or 5%.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0d47)

  47. Sammy Finkelman,

    Basically, any if State as large and hungry as the Federal Government has a department that collects taxes, that department is going to operate by picking people up by the ankles and shaking them till all the money falls out. Changing the system won’t change that. What needs to be changed is the mindset whereby the Federal Government looks at any mess and thinks, “We should be doing something.”, and then looks around for ways to pay for it.

    Easier to change tax systems, I know.

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  48. C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801) — 8/27/2014 @ 11:13 am

    if State as large and hungry as the Federal Government has a department that collects taxes, that department is going to operate by picking people up by the ankles and shaking them till all the money falls out.

    That’s the one thing they don’t do.

    No wealth or any form of property tax.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0d47)

  49. 34: So maybe they wouldn’t get a conviction, due to political considerations: But it sure would make an ILLUMINATING trial, lots of juicy evidence and horror stories, Holder would be guilty in the public eye. If the Senate then ignores the evidence and acquits, the public will see that too.

    VERY illuminating.

    mojo (4a927a)

  50. Sammy, from the jump I was saying that the miserable IRS excuses about why they lost Lois Lerner’s emails could not possibly be true. You saw fit to argue with me. Yet here I am months later, proven right.

    Now, the IRS is arguing that while they have the date, it’s just too hard to retrieve it.

    I’m calling BS again. The notion it is too hard to access the archived data defeats the whole purpose of archiving it in the first place.

    Just curious; do yo want to argue with me again?

    Steve57 (99bd31)

  51. …while they have the date data

    Steve57 (99bd31)

  52. It’s getting harder and harder to understand why she plead the fifth.

    elissa (0f74b5)

  53. “No wealth or any form of property tax.”

    Sammy – What is the estate tax, chopped liver?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  54. C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801) — 8/27/2014 @ 11:13 am

    if State as large and hungry as the Federal Government has a department that collects taxes, that department is going to operate by picking people up by the ankles and shaking them till all the money falls out.

    That’s the one thing they don’t do.

    No wealth or any form of property tax.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0d47) — 8/27/2014 @ 11:17 am

    Earth to Sammy… Earth to Sammy… come in, Sammy…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  55. How is the X1/9?

    Steve57 (99bd31)

  56. 50. Not just a memory hole a tear in the fabric of space and time.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  57. It’s good, Steve… just driving it around town now, no long trips.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  58. “ISIS in Syria? I got nothin’…”
    - el Presidente Barack Obama on August 28, 2014

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)


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